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Meet Grace Sinkins (issue 05 Contributor)

Meet Grace Sinkins, The Malu Zine’s 05 contributor and writer of “Sweet Tea and Artificial Intelligence.”

SR: Could you give us a quick introduction to yourself?

I’m Grace Sinkins, a freshly turned eighteen year old poet from northern Virginia. I’m still in school but I’m looking at continuing on to a higher education after I graduate. So far I have been published in a little bit over thirty literary magazines and I have started working on my first poetry book which is currently untitled because it turns out that picking a name for a wide collection of poetry is quite hard. I briefly considered naming it liminal space and time but that sounds like I’m preparing a will and considering that the majority of the poems are not about death, I decided against it. But in all seriousness, I hope to release the book by my early twenties. 

SR: Who inspired you to become a writer?

I was inspired to write after I learned that Taylor Swift wrote her own songs and when I was little I thought Taylor Swift was the coolest person on the planet, like I wanted to be her. Looking back it was definitely kind of parasocial. Before I wrote poems, I wrote songs. Eventually I realized I had no desire to go into the music industry, but instead wanted to be a writer. I stopped writing songs and started to experiment with writing poetry. It didn’t take long for me to realize that writing poems is exactly what I was made to do. Writing poetry has helped me process a lot of events in my life and reading poetry has helped me learn more about the world.

SR: What is a word you often use in your writings?

Reflect. I feel like I put that word in more than half of my poems. Sometimes I jot it down and just cringe afterwards because I’m so aware that I overuse it. I think I overuse “reflect” because a lot of my writings are about looking into my inner emotional state, and to really dig deep I have to do a lot of internal reflection. I think reflection, whether it be internal, or external, is a very personal and beautiful thing because I believe to grow as a person, you have to reflect back on your past and figure out what makes you the person you are today. 


SR: What is a song that takes you back in time?

Definitely Lua by Bright Eyes. Growing up, I had a lot of babysitters because my parents were busy with work. One of the  babysitters would basically only play early two-thousands soft acoustic emo music. I remember sitting in the backseat of the car with my brother and listening to the “I’m wide awake, it’s morning” record and not really paying attention to the lyrics on the tracks but just appreciating the music as a whole. That album definitely influenced my music taste a lot. Now that I have gotten older, I listen to a lot of acoustic and folk artists such as Nick Drake, Julien Baker, and Billie Marten. 

SR: What advice do you have for young writers who’ve just started their publication journey?

It’s never too early or too late to start focusing on publishing your poetry. Age has nothing to do with hard work and talent. I also think it’s important to mention that rejections are just temporary setbacks and not a reflection on the writer you are. A fantastic poem can get rejected from a magazine just because it wasn’t the right fit for the current issue. Don’t be discouraged and keep on writing. 

SR: What are your future plans as a writer?

My short term writing goal is to continue writing poems and to improve as a writer. I guess my middle term writing goal is to publish a poetry collection. I’m not quite sure yet what my long term goal is. Maybe my long term writing goal is to develop a long term writing goal.  


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